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Update: May 23, 2019One bird has been seen occasionally on the nest but it does not appear that there will be any nesting on the platform this year. It is possible one of the pair of birds did not make it through migration but it is difficult to know what has occurred to prevent nesting. Hopefully, this will only be a one year thing and the platform will be used again in 2020. Thanks for your appreciation of theses wonderful birds and your support of Iowa Osprey Restoration project.
*Viewer Alert: In the wild, not every story has a happy ending. While we enjoy following the exploits of these amazing raptors, images of them dispatching prey and the young competing for survival can be graphic and upsetting to some viewers.
Note: Viewer feed does require a refresh every 5 minutes due to the utilization of cellular data. Thank you.
The birds here at the Wells Fargo complex in West Des Moines are the result of many years of reintroduction and recovery by Osprey in Iowa starting with the first successful nesting since European settlement at Spirit Lake and Iowa City in 2003.
The surviving two young from last year’s successful nesting at this site will stay in South America this year. This is an evolutionary strategy that benefits the Osprey population. Most mortality occurs during migration. Common loons are another of the few species that exhibit this benefit of delayed return migration their first year. If they haven't arrived in Iowa already, the adult pair who have been using the nest platform and the 2017 young are beginning their return to Iowa. Two year-old youngsters from 2017 will roam around Iowa until choosing a mate and nest site when they are four or five years of age.
In 2018 there were 29 Osprey nest attempts that we knew about. Sixteen of these nests were successful and produced 30 young which was a decrease from 2017.
Thank you to the staff at Wells Fargo West Des Moines campus for providing the camera that allows viewers to enjoy these unique hawks from incubation to first flight.